TOMS RIVER, N.J. – In recognition of Older Americans’ Mental Health Week (May 19 - 25, 2013), Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center in Toms River hopes to build community awareness that mental illness is not a normal part of aging.
“Today’s older adults are particularly prone to mental illness, especially because they are balancing responsibilities as caregivers for spouses, friends, children and even grandchildren,” said Christine Belluardo-Tierney, MAS, BSW, Vice President of Behavioral Health Services. “They also may be coping with the loss or losses of loved ones and friends, so they are susceptible to depression and overuse of medications,” she said.
Feelings of loneliness, depression, anxiety and sickness can have detrimental effects on older adults and their loved ones. Family members and friends must be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness and understand that resources are available to help treat them.
Seek help if you or a loved one is experiencing any of the following signs or symptoms:
- emotional outbursts or irritability
- change in appetite
- inability to sleep
- feelings of isolation or helplessness
- increased use of alcohol or medications
- loss of interest in former pastimes
Free Monthly Mental Health Screenings
Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center offers free monthly mental health screenings for various kinds of mental illness. OnThursday, May 16, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., experts from Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center will offer free screenings for depression, anxiety, stress, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center offers an extensive array of high-quality, clinically-focused programs. These programs include a 100-bed acute care psychiatric facility which provides inpatient and intensive outpatient programs for adults and older adults diagnosed with psychiatric and dual disorders. At the Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center, the multidisciplinary staff includes experienced professionals in nearly every facet of behavioral health care. This allows us to provide truly customized and highly specialized treatment tracks, as well as programs for the dually diagnosed.
To register for a free mental health screening or for more information about the Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center, please call the 24-hour Access Line at 1-800-300-0628.
May 7, 2013
CONTACT: Shari Beirne